Roman Epic

Roman Epic


Edited by Anthony J. Boyle


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  • Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
  • Format: Paperback | 356 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 228mm x 26mm | 621g
  • Publication date: 1 September 1996
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0415143578
  • ISBN 13: 9780415143578
  • Edition statement: Revised ed.

Product description

Roman epic is both index and critique of the foundational culture of the western world. It is one of Europe's most persistent and determinant poetic modes. In this book distinguished Latinists examine the formation and evolution of Roman epic from its beginnings in the third century BC to the high Italian Renaissance. Featuring a variety of methodologies and approaches, it clarifies the literary importance and political and moral meaning of Roman epic.

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Back cover copy

Roman epic lays firm claim to being western civilization's prime literary form. Roman epic draws together fourteen critically and methodologically distinct essays, focusing on particular epicists, their reaction to, influence on and rewriting of each other. The book examines the formation and transformation of Roman epic from its beginnings in the third century BCE Saturnian poets Livius and Naevius to the Renaissance Latin epics of Petrarch and Vida. What results is the revelation of Roman epic not only as Rome's highest poetic genre but as a self-consciously intertextual, primarily political form. The Roman epicist's creative exploitation of his predecessors is not restricted to stylistic similarities and generic codes, but often encompasses more important levels of social, moral and political meaning. In the Roman tradition the epic form shows an impetus to reform the celebratory values implicit in the form itself, admitting a plurality of interactive, often critical, narrative voices. This book reveals how epic developed and critically considers the generic and literary tradition to which the texts belong. It demonstrates epic's critical significance for the foundational culture of the western world.

Table of contents

Sander M. Goldberg, University of California, Los Angeles; William J. Dominik, University of Natal; David Konstan, Brown University; William S. Anderson, University of California, Berkeley; Frederick Ahl, Cornell University; J.P. Sullivan, University of California, Santa Barbara; John Henderson, King's College, Cambridge; Martha A. Malamud and Donald T. McGuire jr., University of Southern California; Marcus Wilson, University of Auckland; Peter Connor, University of Melbourne; John O. Ward, University of Sydney; Philip Hardie, New Hall, Cambridge.